5-14-13 Belington attorney sentenced for defrauding state

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ELKINS — A 43-year-old Belington attorney was recently sentenced to federal prison for billing the state of West Virginia for services that she did not perform.

According to United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II, Chief Judge John Preston Bailey sentenced attorney Lisa A. Weese to 12 months and 1 day imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Weese entered a plea of guilty on Nov. 6, 2012, to “mail fraud.” From September 2006 to September 2011, Weese was a panel attorney in the Circuit Court of Barbour, Randolph, Tucker and Taylor counties.

During this five-year period, Weese submitted fraudulent vouchers to West Virginia Public Defender Services claiming to have worked more than 24 hours on each of the 48 days and more than 16 hours on an additional 168 days. The total amount of loss based on compensation paid to her for work she did not perform was $159,130.08.

Judge Bailey is in the process of determining the precise amount of restitution that must be paid by Weese and will provide a separate order regarding that issue in the near future.

Weese, who is free on bond, will self-report to the designated federal institution.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen D. Warner and investigated by the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.

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